The UK government has formally confirmed changes to its COVID travel list, with the Maldives remaining on the red list.
Following an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country in May, the Maldives was added to the red list. Previously, the Maldives government maintained that the country remained on the list during the previous assessment due to revisions made to the rules by the United Kingdom.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) previously claimed that the Maldives remained on the red list in the last assessment due to a pending genomic sequencing test, which is required to move up from the red list. According to HPA Director-General Thasleema Usman, if the test results show a positivity rate of 5, the Maldives can move up to the amber list.
On August 24, Dr Farahanaz Faizal, the Maldives’ High Commissioner to the UK, revealed that the genome sequencing test, the only criterion the UK had officially asked, had been completed.
However, the Maldives remains on the red list, which was recently updated on Thursday. As a result, people travelling from the Maldives to the United Kingdom must endure a 10-day quarantine period upon arrival.
Following the new development, Farahanaz highlighted her concerns on Twitter as the UK continues to put the Maldives on its red list, despite the fact that the Maldives has a lower positive rate and a high vaccination rate.
She also stated that the Maldives has lately began to do regular genome testing, which is used to discover COVID-19 variants common in the country. She did, however, mention that this may have come too late for the latest review of the UK’s COVID travel list.